Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
Rated PG-13 on appeal for mature thematic material, sexual references and language
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
Not starring Natalie Portman, “The Other Woman”, sloppily directed by Nick Cassavetes and shockingly written by a woman (I’ll get to why this is so shocking in a minute) is a comedy meant to make men look bad, but in the process makes women look substantially worse.
Synopsis: Mark King, played by Nickolaj Coster-Waldau, is a millionaire middle-aged scumbag with a full time job, a wife and numerous mistresses (who all refer to themselves as his girlfriend). Leslie Mann plays his wife, Kate Upton plays his girlfriend and Cameron Diaz plays his other girlfriend, or the same character she plays in every movie; the seductress who eventually proves that despite her slutty exterior, she is smarter than any man. When these women find out about each other, they team up to get revenge. While the premise is what it is (not bad, but more so harmless “John Tucker Must Die” fluff) if you haven’t spotted the problem with the plot, then allow me to enlighten you: Mark has a full time job and a wife and a bunch of girlfriends. Aside from him having to be a master of time management, the fact that women who called themselves his girlfriends don’t seem to have any clue that the 24 hours allotted to him daily is being divided between multiple women, and simply accept the fact that they don’t hear from him for days or weeks at a time as if this is some sort of normal dating practice, is a massive plot hole which dooms this film from act one.
That said, as if the only one who understands how bad this material actually is, Mann attempts to inject some of her unique improvisational slapstick into as many sequences as possible. But sadly, after a while her efforts come off as aggressively desperate; if anything making us all feel bad that she is putting on a brave face while standing on a sinking ship.
Final Thought: Even though every beat of this plot is also in the trailer, even though every time Nicki Minaj spoke (she plays Diaz’ secretary) it made me want to kill myself and even though this contains an odd amount of misplaced fecal humor and an ending which logistically made zero sense, there is one deplorable truth here which is absolutely unforgivable. “The Other Woman” is misogynistic. Every female character in this movie is one dimensional and totally defined by a man. Mann’s character is a housewife who lives for her cheating husband and can’t seem to find any meaning to her existence outside of holding the title of his wife. Upton’s character is the quintessential large breasted bimbo who needs a man/father figure for “guidance”. Even Diaz’s character, the most independent of the three, must consult with her father and a man that she’s never met before (but who has dreamy eyes) about how to handle her plans for revenge. Screenwriter Melissa Stack should be ashamed of herself for essentially saying: Women cannot survive without men, and furthermore must join forces to even be on the same intellectual level as a man. And for those of you who enjoyed “The Other Woman” enough to want to see more material like it, you should be ashamed of yourselves too.
Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus